What is a “Meretricious” Relationship, and Why Do I Care?

Posted On March 29th, 2016 by Michael Dunham

[Ed: Originally published on Facebook.]

“Your Post-Divorce Compass” doesn’t tell you anything about dating or your social life after divorce. But if you receive alimony, you should be careful about just how far your new dating relationship might go. Most people know alimony goes away if the recipient remarries, but you may not know that alimony can also go away if you “voluntarily cohabit in a meretricious relationship”. So what the heck is a “meretricious” relationship?

Basically this means you’re living with your boyfriend or girlfriend, just the same as you would live with your husband or wife. It doesn’t mean dating, and it doesn’t mean he or she spends the night occasionally – although you should be careful about that for other reasons. So you can live your life without worrying about losing your alimony; just be careful when things get serious enough that you consider moving in together.